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“We’ll Take Back Iran:" Overnight Protests Rock Iranian Cities

February 17, 2023
3 min read
“We’ll Take Back Iran:" Overnight Protests Rock Iranian Cities

Mass protests have erupted in multiple Iranian cities overnight as public anger against the Islamic Republic’s rulers remains unabated five months after the eruption of a nationwide protest movement demanding fundamental economic, social and political reforms in the country.

Defying a brutal crackdown by security forces on the demonstrators, hundreds of people took to the streets on February 16 to mark 40 days since the execution of two protesters.

Rallies were reported in the cities of Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Rasht, Mashhad, Izeh, Rouidar, Karaj, Arak, and Sanandaj, with the participants chanting slogans against the country’s leadership.

Videos posted on social media show security forces clashing with protesters in several cities.

The deployment of special forces in main squares and streets across Tehran did not prevent demonstrators from gathering in different areas across the city, including Sattar Khan and Englebal streets, Saadat Abad, Tajrish, Shariati, Nazi Abad, Tehran Bazaar, Haft Hoz, and Tehran Pars.

The demonstrators lit fires and chanted slogans such as "We don't want an Islamic government, we don't want it," "We will fight, we will die, we will take back Iran" and "We will stand by the blood of our comrades until the end."

In the central city of Isfahan, protesters could be heard chanting "woman, life, freedom" and "I am a free woman, you are a whore" in front of security forces.

Reports suggest that tear gas was used to disperse the crowd and that a number of people were detained.

Videos from the northeastern city of Mashhad showed protesters chanting "Death to Khamenei," in reference to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and "Poverty, corruption, expensiveness, we will continue until the fall” of the Islamic Republic.

Rallies were also held in Mahabad, Sanandaj, Saqqez, Marivan and other Kurdish cities amid a large presence of special forces.

The nationwide protest movement was triggered by the September death of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of Tehran’s morality police and has morphed into one of the most serious challenges to the theocracy installed by the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iranians have widened their protest to include mass poverty, corruption, and state-sponsored violence in the country.

Women and girls have been at the forefront of the protests. Many have taken off their headscarves and set them on fire in an act of defiance against the ideology and laws of the Islamic Republic.

The authorities have cracked down hard on the women-led protests, killing more than 520 people and detaining over 19,000, activists say.

Following unlawful detentions and biased trials, the judiciary has handed down stiff sentences, including the death penalty, to protesters.

Four protesters have been executed do far amid international condemnation.



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